Groom Turns His Called-Off Wedding Reception into a Fundraiser for Charity
08/30/2014 AT 05:50 PM EDT
A groom whose wedding was called off is using his canceled reception to raise money for charity.
Phil Laboon, CEO of an Internet marketing company, spent more than $15,000 for a post-wedding celebration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, and now that the nuptials have been canceled, he's turning the reception into a fundraiser.
"Things just didn't work out for one reason or another and I ended up calling off the wedding pretty last-minute," he told WTAE Pittsburgh.
After talking to friends, he decided to "turn the lemons that I got" into LemonAID, a charity event benefitting Surgicorp, an organization that provides free surgery in developing countries.
"It was obviously pretty heartbreaking for everybody involved," Laboon told CBS Pittsburgh of his broken engagement. "But this ended up becoming a really good scenario."
Laboon says he was inspired by the work Surgicorp does and hopes to raise at least $50,000 – the average cost of one of their medical missions.
The fundraiser might also end up benefitting his love life. Since news of his plans broke, he's gotten more than 500 Facebook friend requests from women. "Some even from moms or grandmothers looking to set me up with their daughters or granddaughters," he told Reuters.
For now though, the suddenly single 32-year-old would rather keep his focus on his charitable cause. Says Laboon: "The fundraiser is my current fiancé or girlfriend!"